Game Miscues Costly
Atlanta, Ga. - The Tennessee State University Tigers (4-1) suffered their first loss of the season to Florida A&M (3-1) in the 20th Annual Atlanta Classic, 21 28. The legendary rivalry is knotted up 24 games apiece.
The Rattlers were perfect in passing in the first quarter, connecting nine of nine (11of 13, first half) with two quarterbacks (E. Battle, C. Pulley), which led to 21 unanswered points.
The Tigers hacked away at the lead in the second quarter after Javarris Williams scored a four-yard touchdown run, capping a four-play 77-yard drive (9:40) and Antonio Heffner connected with Brandon Belvin for a 55-yard touchdown pass ending a three-play 65-yard drive.
Heffner grabbed another MVP award due to a 20 of 37 passing performance, throwing one interception and one touchdown while rushing for 86 yards on 15 carries for 327 yards in total offense. Belvin tallied his second straight 100-yard receiving game, hauling in six receptions for 105 yards.
FAMU retaliated with a long run before the end of the half, TSU trailed, 14 28.
In the second half, the Tigers’ defense led by Remond Willis and Kellen Woodard held FAMU scoreless. Willis led all defenders with 11 tackles (8 solo) and Woodard added 8 tackles (3 solo, 5 assists) with three sacks. Eugene Clifford hauled in his second interception of the season along with four solo tackles.
Late in fourth, Williams scored on 3-yard run (3:26) sparking the Tigers rally making the score, 21 -28. Williams’ two touchdowns give him seven on the season. The Tigers’ defense would hold the Rattlers deep in their territory on the ensuing drive.
TSU made a charge during the final two minutes, but a costly interception at the one-yard line shattered all hopes of a comeback leaving the score 21 28.
The Tigers return to OVC action next week at Tennessee Martin.